gateway driverless vehicle

5G network deployed in South Korea’s driverless car test city

An early 5G network has been built in South Korea’s K-City, a fake town built by the country to trial driverless cars.

The country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced the opening of K-City in November. It is an approxiamately 363,000-square-metre town built to test self-driving cars in real road environments.

SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile network carrier, has built a high-speed 5G network in K-City. This is the first time that both 5G and driverless technologies have been available in unison, the company said.

It completed the project in collaboration with a government body, the Korea Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA).

K-City is being built in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, and has a variety of test driving lanes that resemble real-world driving conditions including a school zone and bus-only lane.

Costing the South Korean government 11 billion won (£7.2m), only the city’s highways have been completed so far, but once finished K-City will also simulate downtown areas, city outskirts and communal environments. The city even comes with potholes, toll gates and pedestrian crossings in order to create the most realistic conditions possible.

On 28 December 2017, SK Telecom announced the successful deployment of its 5G infrastructure, including a test network with 20Gbps download capacity. This allows a 1GB video file to be downloaded in just 0.4 seconds.

SK Telecom said it has set up a control centre for 5G in the test site that can share data with test cars in less than 0.001 seconds.

It also set up infrastructure designed to create 3D maps with an accuracy as high as 20cm for use by cars.

The test site will offer a platform for Korean automakers and tech giants that work on self-driving cars to test 5G self-driving technology.

“We will continue to work with KOTSA to make K-City a mecca for self-driving research and development,” said Lee Jong-ho, senior vice president and vehicle unit leader at SK Telecom.

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